Is there a connection between physical activity and mental health? A recent study in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal says yes. Not only that, the study found that even greater benefits are seen when fitness is performed in a group. Persons participating in team sports have been reported to have lower mental stress than single exercises.
"Our finding that team sports carry the least amount of mental stress may suggest that social activities promote resilience and reduce depression by reducing social retreats and isolation, which benefits social sport over other species."
Hoping to improve mental health in your tribes, below are some ideas on how to integrate group fitness into your family, your work or with your friends. Try one or two of these ideas a week to develop a group activity routine.
At work: Walking together
Spend part of your lunch break with your staff. Use this time to get your body moving and enjoy talking to your colleagues as you take a few steps. If you can do that, get a few steps if you take the staircase as a group.
At home: Take a day trip.
Get your hiking, cycling or swimming gear out and take your family on a day trip! Connect to play sports and spend time with your family. Make the day on purpose by planning goals, riding a bike or making part of your swimming day a family workout.
With friends: Sign up!
Ever try a fitness class? For some of us, the thought of taking a fitness class alone is nerve wracking. Instead of going alone, attend a group class with some of your friends. (Many of our Anytime Fitness gyms offer group training!) Bring the competition to your friends and hold up the energy by cheering them on as they move through the final moves of the workout.